Ol' Shitskopf do carry on!
- From: "henry alminas" <halminas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2005 10:34:33 -0600
For educational purposes only:
No comments required since it is
just more of the same ol' russkie
song and dance. The Kremlin
does indeed need a new organ-grinder
so its trained monkeys can dance to
a new tune.
Best - - Henry
From: Eurasian daily monitore
The Jamestown foundation
By Igor Torbakov
Friday, July 29, 2005
KREMLIN ENVOY SAYS BRUSSELS
IS A DIFFICULT PARTNER
Moscow appoints new representative to do business
with EU On July 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin
appointed veteran diplomat Vladimir Chizhov to be
Russia's permanent representative at the European
Union. Assessing his new role, the Kremlin envoy
conceded that the recently expanded EU had become
a tougher partner for Moscow. But Chizhov himself
is known for his tough stance in defending what the
Kremlin regards as Russia's national interests
-- particularly, vis-..-vis the EU's new entrants from
Eastern Europe. His appointment appears to be a
signal that Russia has chosen to pursue an
"uncompromising" line with the EU at a time when
the rich bloc is going through particularly turbulent times.
Chizhov, 51, has been deputy foreign minister in charge
of European affairs since 2002. His current position in
Brussels was held, until March 2004, by Mikhail Fradkov,
whom Putin made Russia's prime minister just before his
election to a second presidential term. The EU post had
remained vacant after Fradkov moved from Brussels to
In his first exclusive interview in his new capacity,
Chizhov openly acknowledged that the sweeping
expansion of the EU in 2004 had seriously complicated
the relationship between Moscow and Brussels
(Vremya novostei, July 26). For Chizhov, the main
spoiler is the "New Europe," to borrow the term
coined by the U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
to describe the new arrivals from the former Soviet
satellites in East-Central Europe and the Baltics.
Moscow, the Russian diplomat said, had repeatedly
warned the "old EU of the 15" about the possible
complications that might arise should "our former
co-nationals" and allies join the Western bloc.
Remarkably the Kremlin, according to Chizhov, hoped
that the "beneficial impact of old European traditions"
would emerge and "positively influence" the East
European novices. But this, unfortunately, has not
come to pass.
Chizhov then turned to the thorny issue of Russia's
border treaties with Estonia and Latvia. From his
perspective the prospects of ratifying the two treaties
are "equally unpromising" at present. Riga and Tallinn,
he asserted, "have actually been following the same
path save for some slight variations." The Kremlin
has likely decided to put the border agreements with
the two "intransigent" Baltic nations on the back
burner. As for the EU's further enlargement, the
Russian diplomat suggested, in a tellingly displeased
manner, that despite the current crisis, the bloc would
likely continue to expand, although "in a much less
The interview with the new Kremlin envoy to the EU
appears to neatly reflect the Russian political elites'
current attitude toward the powerful bloc.
Most Russian policymakers and analysts characterize
the Russia-EU relationship as a "fuzzy partnership,"
as one Kremlin-connected commentator recently put it.
Brussels, most Russian experts agree, is a "very
difficult partner with whom it is very hard to do business."
There is a growing conviction in Moscow that Russia,
being the largest European state, simply cannot fit into
the EU. As some Russian political thinkers point out,
Russia is "too big and too peculiar" to be successfully
integrated into the existing bloc.
Other commentators argue that EU membership should
not even be a strategic goal for Russia, as the
present-day EU is not an attractive organization but
rather a "zone of economic stagnation." Due to excessive
bureaucratization, the argument goes, United
Europe currently has one of the slowest development
rates in the world. Most Russian politicians and
entrepreneurs deem the elaborate norms and regulations
that Brussels tirelessly imposes as "too socialist,"
according to at least one Moscow analyst.
Thus, there is a clear asymmetry of interests between
Russia and the EU. As it is seen from Moscow, the two
sides want different things from each other. Europe is
mainly interested in Russia's political development as
a participatory democracy and law-governed state;
in securing an uninterrupted supply of energy resources;
and in having a free hand in the enormous Russian
market. For its part, Russia's priorities include access
to closed European markets and newest technologies,
as well as to the EU's abundant financial resources.
At the same time, the Kremlin has grown visibly
annoyed with European lectures on human rights
and democratic values. "As far as democracy is
concerned, Russians are tired of being Europe's
whipping boys," former Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev and Russian lawmaker Alexander Lebedev
recently noted (Financial Times, July 26).
Finally, there is the sticky issue of the EU's eastward
enlargement. Most Russian analysts argue that the EU's
current crisis demonstrates that the bloc has run out
of steam and should take a more realistic look at the
pace of the integration process. This perspective
may well be shared by the majorities among the citizenry
and policymakers in a number of the EU member states.
But the dominant view in Brussels is that enlargement
must go on. At the same time, some European strategists
assert, Russia should get used to the idea that "it is
now merely a part of this wider European neighborhood
too," and that "its dominance in this region is effectively over."
(Kreml.org, July 13; Nezavisimaya gazeta, July 15; Tribuna,
July 19; Vremya novostei, July 26; Financial Times, July 26,
28; Politcom.ru, July 28)
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